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Author Topic: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?  (Read 14407 times)

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Offline Paderau

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PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« on: August 17, 2012, 07:59:27 PM »
 Hi everyone!
It seems strange to earn money like a normal player,
when we use public service for paying every expensive things! NO?
I found Public service can earn some money with electricity ...
when it owns all the electric transformers and lines (wires)
But it's realy not easy (or quite impossible) to spend less money than
electricity can produce
So the money balance becomes quickly negative ...
Is it possible to make more money with "Public service"?

like everyone know "Public service" can't own vehicles and is not a
public transporter service
does someone have an idea about that? I heard that everyone use this
service differently...
May be we can talk again about this subject...
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 02:53:59 PM by Paderau »

Offline isidoro

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 10:31:28 PM »
Two ideas:
1) with money paid by companies when using public infrastructure
2) with a % on the profit of companies (a sort of tax)

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 12:36:00 AM »
Interesting question. No. 1 is actually already possible in Experimental, and I have been considering no. 2 for a long time, although it is not a current development priority. Another possibility (which would work alongside a tax on players' profits) is a tax on cities, which would raise money in proportion to the game world's population, but, proportionately to the rate of tax, slow city growth.

Offline ӔO

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 02:01:27 AM »
#1, in experimental, won't pay for the sheer amount of upkeep the public player will have to pay on all the housings, ways and attractions.


#2, would be good to see in action, even if all it does is keep the public player debt free.

Offline Combuijs

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 08:56:06 AM »
1) with money paid by companies when using public infrastructure

Isn't that currently the case in Simutrans Standard? My public company maintains all the roads and tracks and gets income whenever a company uses them. Or at least they are gaining money every second.

Edit: By the way: wrong subforum, I think.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 10:54:28 AM »
#1, in experimental, won't pay for the sheer amount of upkeep the public player will have to pay on all the housings, ways and attractions.


#2, would be good to see in action, even if all it does is keep the public player debt free.

The public player does not pay upkeep on housing and attractions: they are not government buildings, after all. The tax (especially on cities) could easily be tuned to give public players the right level of income to allow them to spend but not too much.

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 12:44:09 PM »
Or maybe we should just disable the finance window for the public service.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 12:58:54 PM »
Simulating public finance seems to me preferable to not simulating it.

Offline Yona-TYT ve

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 01:23:29 PM »
Or maybe we should just disable the finance window for the public service.
disable the funding window is not the solution.
this to would remove reality to game.
for me it would be better solve the problems of economic balance

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 01:30:50 PM »
But what do I gain from it? My trains and trucks keep rolling, my planes keep flying, my boats keep sailing, my wealth keeps increasing, even with the public service in debt like a South European country.

For public finance, I've got SimCity 2000 lying around somewhere. Though after 50 years in that game, I would usually be out of power and out of money.

Offline dom700

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 01:41:06 PM »
Personally I dont care about public finance at all. Why should it be invisible, that doesnt make any sense to me, Ters.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 01:44:01 PM »
Not everybody has the same idea of what's fun, of course, but simulating the public finance is interesting in that public finances are of significance for transport wherever transport infrastructure stands to be financed by the state, as is possible in Simutrans.

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 02:31:03 PM »
Personally I dont care about public finance at all. Why should it be invisible, that doesnt make any sense to me, Ters.
Because people, including myself, seem to get bothered by the huge negative numbers and want to give the public service some income to balance all its expenditures. If there is no financial situation for the public service, there is nothing to worry about.

Not everybody has the same idea of what's fun, of course, but simulating the public finance is interesting in that public finances are of significance for transport wherever transport infrastructure stands to be financed by the state, as is possible in Simutrans.
Playing as a state owned transportation company could be interesting, but I still think that would be something different from what the public services is today. You would still be "human player", but get some money each year, which would depends on the political situation, and probably be required to give some of the net income back. The latter applies to privately owned companies as well. This would be mostly a scenario thing I think, though the game would probably need some general support for it to work.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 02:43:43 PM »
What sort of support do you imagine that might be needed?

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 02:58:47 PM »
Primarily the concept of a dividend. Scenerio scripts could of course keep this internally and just subtract some money from you, but it would be nicer if this showed up explicitly in the finance window. I haven't thought beyond that, but as this is beyond what Simutrans was made to be (as I have understood it), there is a likelyhood that something else might be needed, or would be advantageous to have.

Offline prissi

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2012, 03:10:35 PM »
But still, public player plays for all houses player 1 own, including townhalls, attraction (maybe ok) and factories. Most likely, (if not a socialist country) the latter should earn the public player money. On the other hand, town roads cost no money at all, neither public player nor any other player.

Simutrans was never conceived as an economic simulations, but a transport simulation. And some player had to own everything to avoid demolition of certain objects (s.a.) Currently public player is the Administrator (maybe we should use this name for default translation?) and can do almost everything. If not player1, we would need another player alble to do this, and everything starts again ...

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2012, 03:40:23 PM »
I guess the underlying thing here is what the public player is. From prissi's post, it seems to be a pragmatic solution to a purely technical problem. It's given a name, which in different translations may mean subtly different things. It appears like a player because that's how it's coded for simplicity's sake. It stays or becomes playable as a means to do stuff that limitations in the game prevent you from doing otherwise. In the end each player makes up his own perception of something that wasn't meant to be in the first place.

As the game uses the public player for everything that doesn't belong anywhere else, perhaps it needs to be split up into parts with specific roles. But then we get a category of companies that aren't transport companies anymore, and if they are playable too, then it's not Simutrans anymore.
 
Ambitious rant:
Simutrans doesn't do economics well, and neither does Word do spreadsheets beyond some simple table stuff. However, Word can cooperate with Excel to integrate spreadsheets and graphs into a document (and the other way around, but that's rare). Imagine a suite of games that operated on the same world. One game would be like Simutrans, a game about transporting stuff. Another game would be running either local or central governments SimCity style. A third would be running industry. All these would interact. The second could both tax and subsidize the other two. The third would depend on the first to transport supplies and finished products. All would use the same server. In theory, the games could be so integrated that one could switch between them without exiting, but I call them separate games as their modes of play are so different.

Offline ӔO

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 08:18:43 PM »
IMO, the most that would be needed from public player financial status is effect on city growth. If in debt, city growth should be halved to near stagnant. I think 1/4 growth rate wouldn't be bad. If in good financial standings, the normal rate of growth defined in the pakset should be used.

This may be simple, but it's not intrusive. Once the player(s) are making enough money to pay off the debt of the public player, the economy, as a whole, will pickup and may add a bit of a challenge to game play, as the players may need to expand local services.

For a tax rate, I think a progressive tax rate is best. It will even out the playing field between long standing companies with huge assets and beginners in a network game. A bigger company will have a bigger burden to keep the public player afloat, as the larger the cities grow, the more costly the maintenance becomes.

IMO, only caveat with this simple method, is getting the balance right in the pakset, so that the public player won't run away with tons of money or run up such a huge debt that it becomes impossible to pay it off. Bouncing back and forth from liquid to debt is desirable, IMO.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 08:30:35 PM by ӔO »

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2012, 10:39:21 PM »
IMO, the most that would be needed from public player financial status is effect on city growth.

Which city? The economic situation is not necessarily the same in all of them. And do cities really stop growing when out of money? I think a more realistic approach would be that public owned roads degrade, and perhaps even disappear completely.

This may be simple, but it's not intrusive. Once the player(s) are making enough money to pay off the debt of the public player, the economy, as a whole, will pickup and may add a bit of a challenge to game play, as the players may need to expand local services.

So the entire economy hinges on your company? I wouldn't say that increases realism, if that is the goal.

Offline isidoro

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2012, 10:42:58 PM »
It seems quite sensible to me that the public player has some income so that it can't spend whatever, if configured so...

But what do I gain from it? My trains and trucks keep rolling, my planes keep flying, my boats keep sailing, my wealth keeps increasing, even with the public service in debt like a South European country.
[...]

Not quite exactly, unless you consider Iceland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and even Germany, southern.  This is the top-10 ranking (% debt/GDP, 2011):

1 - Greece -> 160%
2 - Iceland -> 130%
3 - Italy -> 121%
4 - Portugal -> 109%
5 - Ireland -> 108%
6 - Belgium -> 99%
7 - United Kingdom -> 87%
8 - France -> 87%
9 - Germany -> 82%
10 - Hungary -> 80%
...
One of the PIGS countries, as some heartless neocon economists call them, the southern Spain, is in the 15th position with a mere 69%.  And money markets are much milder with others much near the top of the list...
 

Offline ӔO

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2012, 01:15:07 AM »
Which city? The economic situation is not necessarily the same in all of them. And do cities really stop growing when out of money? I think a more realistic approach would be that public owned roads degrade, and perhaps even disappear completely.
All cities universally. Obviously, the ones that are serviced by the players with transport will grow quicker than ones that are not. They won't stop growing when out of money, just at a slower rate. 50% to 25% of normal growth rate is noticeable, but it's not to the point of being intrusive to game play.

So the entire economy hinges on your company? I wouldn't say that increases realism, if that is the goal.
Well, it is only a game. That and since the main aspect behind this game is transportation, so a highly accurate simulation of how the public player earns money is not needed. All that is needed is to show how your company's performance affects the various cities.

The point behind my idea is to give a new challenge once a player has reached something similar to endgame level of development of their network. When multiple cities start expanding rapidly, you will end up with gaps in your network and these gaps can be filled by other players who may be just starting off.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 01:21:21 AM by ӔO »

Offline IgorEliezer br

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2012, 02:51:13 AM »
Currently public player is the Administrator (maybe we should use this name for default translation?)
I support it. Plus, the Administrator would be zero-cost and zero-income: it wouldn't spend any 1¢ when building or demolishing, and wouldn't earn any 1¢ as income, some sort of admin-map editor. Its finance window would be blank or replaced with something like an Admin panel showing data about every player.

Offline Roads

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2012, 06:47:51 AM »
I have only one problem with getting rid of the red ink for the Public Player.  To some extent it discourages me from using it with abandon.  Even though it is often deeply in the red especially since I begin the game with zero industries, still I try to keep it as low as possible.

I absolutely love Ters idea if I understood it right about having more than one player if the human player could switch hats.  When playing as the transportation entrepreneur, I would want industries that produced goods so that my vehicles wouldn't have to dead head.  When I put on the captain of industry hat, I couldn't care less about vehicles dead heading but would be concerned with things like availability of nearby resources and markets, both of which the transportation costs would affect my bottom line.  As the Public Works guy, I would only build roads, etc., as tax payer funds became available.  I can see conflict and lots of strategy here...for all players involved...I also think it would be an enormous undertaking and far from the scope of the game as it is now.

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2012, 08:24:46 AM »
@isidoro: The media keeps putting out story after story about how Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal are in dire trouble and sinking deeper into it. I get the impression that it has to do with debt, so I used them as a metaphor. Had I known about the term PIGS, I probably would have used that. There is no simple collective word for the rest as far as I know.

As the Public Works guy, I would only build roads, etc., as tax payer funds became available.  I can see conflict and lots of strategy here...for all players involved...I also think it would be an enormous undertaking and far from the scope of the game as it is now.
Actually, in my vision, you wouldn't just build roads. It would be full SimCity. And as for the scope of Simutrans, it is irrelevant. This would be something completely new. The games could perhaps reuse some graphics, and perhaps some know-how and experience, but that's all. However, with the programming capacity of this community, I expect it would take more than ten years to get it to a point where it's properly playable, even if it could build directly on Simutrans. And the motivation would probably fade before that.

Offline Carl

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2012, 08:52:23 AM »
If you think of the public player as the Department for Transport -- rather than as the government or local authority per se -- then it makes more sense for it to be in constant budget deficit, receiving a regular subsidy from the treasury, or whatever.

Offline Ters

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2012, 10:51:24 AM »
However, the public player also owns factories and other stuff, so it's more than the department for transport. It's not the government or local authority either. It's everything that isn't you and any other transport company that might exist in the game. A placeholder for one or more governments and several dozen privately and government owned entities. To some extent, it's also a god. This makes it wrong to say that the public player should realistically do this and that, because it's not a realistic concept.

Taxes and macro-economics are valid feature request for the game as a whole. Whether it's implemented using the public player is an implementation detail. Other feature requests might make it better to implement this differently. If the concept of different countries, states, counties and/or municipalities is introduced to the game, there might also be a desire to have different economic situations for each of them.

Offline Roads

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2012, 05:51:00 PM »
@Isidoro

Yeah, I sort of understood that you were talking a whole new game.  I wouldn't go that far...

@Ters
I think three players could cover everything needed in the game.  Ideally, only the transportation guy would need a human player, the others could be played entirely by the engine if the player so desired.  Really I think that's the way the game works now, it is just that public works and factory building are rolled up into one.  Actually, this is the part that is unrealistic to me.  It would make more sense to separate industry from public works. 

Offline Vladki cz

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2012, 08:55:55 PM »
I think that for the scope of simutrans it would be enough if public player deals only with money that are related to transportation and power distribution - i.e. building and maintenance of road, tracks, stops, stations, power lines and earning money from road tax (or toll) and transformers as already implemented in standard. Everything else (building houses, factories and attractions) should be free.

Otherwise (if buildings cost money) it would be nice if public player has a tax income from from the inhabitants. We already know how many simu-people live in the game. Unemployed or homeless people would pay less or almost zero taxes. This would provide some more income for public player and wouldn't change the game too much. Maybe it would not be too complicated to code.

In railroad tycoon, it was possible to buy factories and participate on their profits (or losses), but i think that is getting a bit out of the scope of the game.

Offline isidoro

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2012, 10:16:30 PM »
@Ters:  don't believe in what the media say... ;)

The point is, as usual, where to put the limits.  As a transport simulation, ST should deal with: goods (or people), origins, destinations, ways, vehicles and a few things more.  But vehicles, ways, etc. cost money, so economy must play a role.  Once you have money, money must be created, transferred, etc. in a realistic way... and so on...  Otherwise, with absolutely random creation of passengers and goods with origins and destinations we fulfill the transport simulation requirements, but few people would like it.

On the other hand, the public player has too many roles assigned: a kind of administrator of the game, owner of some stuff, it can build (it is like a bank that in fact give credit to other players if it wants), it can assume maintenance of buildings, it can connect networks...

I think that this is because of evolution: in the early stages of the game, it was easier to have another player with special privileges than to build something else.  When real network multiplayer games came to light, all these contradictions became more evident.


Offline el_slapper

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2012, 09:28:16 AM »
IMHO, whatever solution implemented must be (1)easy & not CPU consuming, and (2)not wreacking havoc in current Pakset balance.

(2) is especially important, as pakset balancing is already a nightmare.

Therefore, IMHO, it should be something like :

(A)an income based on the size of each town(10C per inhabitant per month, or whatever makes the thing balanced).
(B)an income based on a fraction of both income & outcome of player companies. Monthly also.

So you just have to make a small computation each month :
(I)Loop on towns, & get map total population.
(II)Multiply by the standard monthly property tax. You have your property income.
(III)Loop on companies, add income & expenses.
(IV)Multiply by the fraction(something like 20%). You have your sales income.
(V)Add both incomes, & you have the administrator revenue.

I don't know anything about the way the code is done, yet I guess it should be doable & not too costly in terms of CPU use. (I obviously may be wrong). And, very important to my eyes, it would not alter pakset balance.

Offline Paderau

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2012, 12:13:32 PM »
Hi Everyone!

I see Public Service is interesting for many people.  Many thanks for the time you spent for explaining your ideas about it.
So there are 2 ways to react about it
1-   No matter, my trains, trucks, planes are working anyway ... no reason to control Public Service funds
2-   Prissi  you say: "Simutrans was never conceived as an economic simulations"
But many players seem to believe it can be interesting to use this game with a little more economic interest
So the new question is would it be so complicated to improve the game (because it's a game, like we know).
For me I'd find more interesting the Public finances become more realistic ... I read many suggestions about the improvements to do ... in you answers
Possiible to code Taxes, ... some amount of money depending on the number of the people living in the towns poured on Public service finance each months...
By this way, players that don't use Public Service can continue...
but other people that prefer to verify Public finances  balance, would feel no more guilty of its red line, and would be more happy. Don't you think so?

Offline An_dz

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE Possible to make money?
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2012, 04:21:01 PM »
If in debt, city growth should be halved to near stagnant. I think 1/4 growth rate wouldn't be bad. If in good financial standings, the normal rate of growth defined in the pakset should be used.
Which city? The economic situation is not necessarily the same in all of them. And do cities really stop growing when out of money? I think a more realistic approach would be that public owned roads degrade, and perhaps even disappear completely.
I agree with Ters, city growth don't depend on the public player. The only effect I can see on city growth could be the city grow vertically, cause the public player won't build new roads.

As Ters said:
However, the public player also owns factories and other stuff, so it's more than the department for transport. It's not the government or local authority either. It's everything that isn't you and any other transport company that might exist in the game. A placeholder for one or more governments and several dozen privately and government owned entities. To some extent, it's also a god. This makes it wrong to say that the public player should realistically do this and that, because it's not a realistic concept.
The public player only exist because:
1- When Hajo first created it was easier to create a player to handle it.
2- Hajo didn't want to make it invisible so he could see how thing are handled and if handled correctly. Plus he wanted to show others how things work.
3- It's a nice cheat

The only thing that could be nice to implement is a taxing system for public player where he would choose a tax for the income the players have. Than the map/scenario/online game could have a difficulty level. So if the public player higher the taxes, some lines won't be profitable anymore.